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Longest lunar eclipse of 21st century turns moon blood-red

02 August 2018

The complete duration of the total lunar eclipse would be 103 minutes or 1 hour 43 minutes.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth's "Umbral Shadow" - the Earth's innermost shadow.

Mars is also at its closest approach to Earth this week since 2003, making it appear bigger and brighter. The eclipse will already have started by the time the Moon rises over the United Kingdom and Western Europe.

"This eclipse is special because just by chance it happens that the moon will cross the shadow of the Earth nearly along its diameter, which makes the eclipse a few minutes longer than usual", Francisco Diego, an astronomer at University College London in the United Kingdom, told NBC News. That means the planet and the sun will be on exact opposite sides of the Earth and will shine its best.

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Red light, on the other hand, is scattered least, which is why the setting sun is red. All this time the Moon was in the shadow of the Earth. Those who live in Asia and Australia will be able to see the eclipse between midnight and sunrise on July 28.

The midpoint of the 17th lunar eclipse of the 21st century was at 9.21pm when the moon was totally eclipsed by the earth and at its darkest.

At the same time, Mars will hover near the moon in the night sky, easily visible with the naked eye.

"South-eastern observers will be able to see the eclipse for somewhat longer than north-western ones".

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But if it's not visible in North America, how can you get a glimpse of today's lunar eclipse?

He said: "The moon passes into the shadow of the Earth, blocking the light from the sun".

The moon will fill the sky with a spectacular glow and take on a ruddy rust hue that's handsome, and vaguely creepy. All of Asia (including India), and Eastern Africa will get to watch the entire eclipse including the two partial lunar eclipse.

"This does not herald the apocalypse - seeing a lunar eclipse and Mars in the sky is something people should enjoy rather than worry about". The eclipse will be visible from eastern South America as it is ending, and from Australia as it is beginning.

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Throw in the fact that Mars was hanging around nearby and shining brighter than it has in our night sky in 15 years, and it was a pretty spectacular show.

Longest lunar eclipse of 21st century turns moon blood-red